Unique Perspectives: Thailand’s Third Culture Kids [Season 3, Episode 18]

2018-07-23T22:17:43+00:00

What do you do if the culture you grew up in isn’t your own – or even your parents’? You adapt, dammit, and become what’s known as a Third Culture Kid, or TCK, if you’re cool.

Ed interviews his recently graduated student Mook Ishimura, a half-Thai, half-Japanese ‘third culture kid,’ who is a Thai citizen but who grew up mostly in the United States and Indonesia before moving to Thailand for university. They discuss the rather unusual situation of feeling LESS comfortable in your ‘passport country’ than in another culture – in Mook’s case, American culture. Mook recounts the difficulty of studying in a western classroom her whole life, only to begin university in an international program in Thailand, mostly with Thai students coming out of the Thai school system.

In an increasingly cosmopolitan city like Bangkok, Mook demonstrates that not everyone fits neatly into the ‘native’ box or the ‘expat’ box. We think this is a great asset to any city or country – after all, variety is the spice of life, and TCKs are nothing if not varied. And spicy.

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2 Comments

  1. bill August 10, 2018 at 3:20 am - Reply

    This was a really interesting interview since i share a similar background and upbringing with Mook. However Ed you need to brush up on your interviewing skills. You interrupted your guest too often and took too long to ask relevant follow-up questions. Overall though decent job. Maybe room for a part 2?

    • Ed Knuth September 5, 2018 at 3:50 pm - Reply

      Hi Bill. I appreciate the input. I mentioned it to Mook, and she laughed and said she never felt interrupted at all. Perhaps your perception comes from the fact that she and I have known each other for several years and are pretty casual in our conversation. But we are hoping to do a follow-up interview with her, so keep your eyes (and ears) peeled.

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